Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Pyrmont Pub Crawl

The Pyrmont Pub Crawl

Sue & Paul
Libby & Michael
Afternoon of Sunday 24th June, 2018



 This was originally to be called "The Pyrmont L", due to the shape of the planned route.  But we (well, I) took a wrong turn after the first pub, and it became a deformed "U" instead. 

1.     Pyrmont Bridge Hotel
Perched conveniently at the western end of the eponymous bridge, the Pyrmont Bridge Hotel is a classic Sydney pub on the ground level.  Central bar, yellow tiles, pressed metal ceilings.

The beer range is basic, but allows the connoisseur at least a couple of choices of Australian craft beer. 

But this pub also has a couple of hidden gems, with two additional floors of bars and balconies.  The food appeared good value, with decent share plates being passed around the other punters.

Pluses:  Convenience, choice of bars, ‘classic’ pub look and feel, 24 hours open.
Minuses: Quite noisy being close to traffic, and beer/wine range could be bigger.

2.     Quarryman’s Hotel
This haven for beer wankers is again an aesthetically-pleasing establishment for the pub lover. Plenty of wood & tile, and old-school diversion of pinny machines.

The beer board is comprehensive, with micro offerings experienced including a Framboise sour from Hawkers Beer, Fixation ‘Squish’ US IPA,  Blackberry Porter from Clare Valley, and a murky Brown Ale ‘Belgian Cookie’ from Big Shed.

Excellent share plates of Mac’n’Cheese Arrancini and spicy mammoth/bison/buffalo wings.  Complementary Cucumber water was a refreshing surprise.
Service was perfunctory, but not unpleasant.

Pluses:  beer, beer, beer…… share plates
Minuses: not many.

3.     The Dunkirk
Appealing to a totally different demographic to the Quarryman’s (which needs to, as they are opposite each other), this is a typical local pub, which on the day meant it was gearing up for State Of Origin #2.

The bar manager is a gregarious enough chap, welcoming us to his humble abode and then trying to press-gang lunch onto us.  

A nice find was the stocking of ‘Sagres’, Portugal’s version of Heineken.  Not a bad cleansing lager, and at $4.50 cheap in anyone’s book.  It sits alongside Schofferhoffer in the bar fridge, again a nice little surprise.
The pub has good warmth, and comfortable leather sofas, so ideal to settle in on a cold day.

Pluses: greeting, comfort
Minuses: beer range, wine range

4.     Harlequin Inn
Possibly the weakest link in the day’s venues, this big pub sits on the corner of the central Pyrmont plaza.  Again, geared up for SOO#2, so lots of annoying blue balloons.

Some reasonable beer (including Akasha lager) and wine choices, which were consumed in the westering sunshine out on Harris St footpath. 

Fairly pleasant, although the regular buses made breathing and listening quite the challenge at times.

Pluses: Locality and street side drinking (when quiet)
Minuses: Closed afternoon kitchen, and street side drinking (when not)

5.     The Terminus
Arguably the find of the day, this recently renovated and reopened pub is hitting the mark in all areas, including food, atmosphere, beer, and service.  TV chef Colin Fassnidge has been involved with the makeover and the design of the new menu.

The down stairs bar is beautifully appointed, and so too the upstairs rooms, including a modern outdoor terrace, and plenty of inside rooms for groups to spread out.
All four of us ordered the beef cheek pie, and some interesting cocktails such as a ‘Twostep’ smoked gin offering, and honeyed rum. Ideal for a winter’s pub crawl.

Langhorne Creek shiraz and Yarra Valley pinot noir also made ideal accompaniments to the pies. A $90 bottle of St Hugo was tempting, but arguably a step too far.

Pluses:  food, beer, wine, service, ambience
Minuses: should have come here first……

6.     Pyrmont Point Hotel
Our final destination for the day, this is another pub with potential.  Seemingly geared up for another, different contemporaneous football event, this place is aiming to please. It’s hard to step up and compete with a near-neighbour such as The Terminus right across the road.

A couple of reasonable crafties on tap, including an offering from Batch Brewing. It was good of the bartender to cross-sell a jug, instead of paying more for two pints.
The ladies bravely dived into the mulled wine, ostensibly an ideal offering for the season.  While there was lots of spice and warmth, it felt a bit thin.  Maybe one needs three or more glasses to be find its appeal…

If this was the only pub in the neighbourhood, it would be a good regular haunt. It can’t compete with its neighbour, though.

Pluses: Jugs of craft beer
Minuses: Mulled wine, distracting neighbour

In summary, this was an excellent adventure, and certainly the first of many.  I have already started planning a Surry Hills expedition, which may take several iterations (many more pubs in that area).

Pyrmont is a great location to spend a lazy afternoon.  Easy to get to, good range of pubs, food, and other attractions such as the casino, maritime museum, and Darling Harbour precincts.

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